And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yetGod feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?
“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!
“And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.Luke 12:22-31
Whenever you come to a section of Scripture you want to study, always look to find the connections. How far is this passage connected to what is before and after it? In the words of Gordon Fee, find the sense unit. Where is the context which gives sense to this portion? Those who have done the deeper levels of Deeper Bible know the importance of the sense unit and how complex it can be. That is what you need to do here. Find the connections. Luke seems to have intended us to accept this segment before us today, as spoken at the same time as what precedes it. Note that Matthew has taken this material and scattered it throughout his gospel as a series of sayings. But I have already told you that in Gem 730. We already know Matthew’s approach and we are understanding Luke’s purpose more clearly as we move through the book.
Why is it that we have two parts of Luke close together, which deal with the birds and the value of us as human beings? Is this, as some suggest, just a collection of unconnected sayings, or is there method and order to what Luke has compiled for us? Read through this segment a number of times and then look at it in the context of the wider context of Luke in the chapters around it. Then we will deal with the flow in the next Gem. So do some digging on the passage first before I start to pull it apart. The first thing to do is set it in context and find out why Jesus said to his disciples, “For this reason . . . ” [Deeper Bible 301ers know all about this having just looked at Romans 12:1.] At least the audience has been clarified for us. Up until now, “them” was left somewhat vague and indefinite. Now we are told clearly that Jesus is talking here to His disciples.
In the meantime read the passage before us today in preparation for dissecting it tomorrow.
God only gives us what we can handle, but sometimes I wish he didn’t trust me so much!Ian Vail
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.Winston Churchill
I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.Abraham Lincoln
Winning doesn’t always mean being first – winning means you’re doing better than you have done before.Anon
The next Gem is the 1000th Gem. I would never have imagined I would write 1,000 Gems when I first started Gems on the 9th September 2009. Yes, I still remember the date I started. It’s easy – 09/09/09. Thanks Lilly for prodding me in this direction and thanks to you Kenny for encouraging me to pick up on Lilly’s suggestion and helping me to look past my aversion to Twitter and social networking trivia. I could not see the point of telling people that I was “having coffee in Starbucks with Kenny”. But God has used this in amazing ways.
I am amazed that Gems have spread around the world. I have absolutely no way of knowing how many receive Gems on a daily basis. It was up to 12,000 at one stage. But now with computer crashes and email addresses lost and other glitches, some connections have been lost. But still they spread. I find the Gems are being used as the curriculum base for two Bible colleges. They are used in countless churches, university campuses and Bible Colleges as focused discussion material. Hundreds of pastors around the world tell me they love the material I send or they read from other places. They use it for one-off sermons or preaching a series on John or Romans or the Corinthian letters or Ephesians. Recently I found that yet another Bible College is using the material as the basis of their course focus on Luke’s Gospel. It amazes me.
People from all walks of life seem to like the Gems. Pastors love them because of the depth that I go into with each Gem, while trying to keep it focused. Many love them for the quotes I add at the end of each Gem. I have told you numbers of times that I am not interested in “writing a commentary” or commenting on every little thing. But I want to ensure that the understanding of the connectedness of Scripture is highlighted. Nothing is in the Word of God by chance. Especially in Luke things connect together. But that is also true of John and Romans as well as Ephesians and Corinthians 1 & 2, in fact all Paul’s letters. Gems are written in conjunction with what I teach in Deeper Bible. In fact to write the Gems, I simply apply the principles I teach in Deeper Bible. It is not hard, anybody can do it. That is why housewives and army colonel’s love it too. I think the strangest group that have told me they follow Bible Gems are the Bikers Patchwork Group. Just the name boggles my mind. I won’t make anymore comment than that.
Coming soon with the launch of my new website will be the opportunity to sign up to receive Gems through email by the click of a button. The process will be automated from the website and I won’t need to keep a track of hordes of email addresses nor try to resurrect them after crashes or computer changes. But you will have to register for it when the new website is available. I can’t do it for you. Furthermore, all I have written before will be available to you at the click of a button:- Gems, Nuggets, Quotes, Ian’s Stories, God’s Awesome Book and all will be searchable and hot links will take you to all cross referenced resources. Ultimately Deeper Bible will be housed on the new website which will allow you to do Deeper Bible Online.
Wow what a milestone – 1000 Gems.
Thank You Lord that Your Word is worthy of such detailed study. You hold a deep Bible my friend. Learn to plumb its depths.